Reed Richardson

Reed Richardson

Reed Richardson is a media critic whose work has appeared in The Nation, Harvard University’s Nieman Reports and the textbook Media Ethics (Current Controversies). Follow him on Twitter: @reedfrich

Articles by this author

Ever since her shocking primary upset of Democratic Party fixture Rep. Joe Crowley last fall in New York’s 14th District, Ocasio-Cortez has drawn the white-hot spotlight of the press.(Photo: Screenshot) Views
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Fox News’ Self-Fulfilling Propaganda on Ocasio-Cortez
Over the weekend, Fox News published a story ( 3/17/19 ) on a recent Gallup poll that asked the public about their opinions on Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The headline claimed that her unfavorable rating had “skyrocketed”—rising 15 points since last September—and that “most people”...
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The facile logic on display here is so untethered from any basic grounding in how political power works according to our Constitution that it might just float out into space. (Photo: FAIR) Views
Friday, January 11, 2019
Corporate Press Stoops to Absurdity to Balance Trump’s Border Wall Lies
Last month, FAIR ( 12/7/19 ) examined the absurd false equivalence that some factchecking sites, including the Washington Post ’s Fact-Checker, sometimes engage in by comparing imprecise or accidental misstatements by left-wing politicians with the unprecedented and willful lies and conspiracy...
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Being too much of a malleable conduit for the messaging of the powerful in Washington has always been a problem for the corporate media.(Photo: Screenshots) Views
Thursday, December 20, 2018
‘Trump Says…’: The Journalistic Scourge of Echo-Chamber Headlines
The most basic tenet of professional physicians is the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” Its intent is clear, simple: When practicing medicine, the fundamental ethical consideration should be to not make things worse. All decisions on treatment—including whether to treat a patient in the first...
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Make no mistake, this is an absurd false equivalence. Did she inaccurately enumerate Pentagon waste in a political argument? Certainly. Did she willfully, intentionally and repeatedly attempt to mislead the public, smear minorities, or traffic in racist propaganda or conspiracy theories, as in the above examples of Trump’s rhetoric? The question answers itself. (Photo: Screengrab) Views
Friday, December 07, 2018
Trump, Ocasio-Cortez, and Factcheck False Equivalence
In an era when the president of the United States is an inveterate, habitual, daily liar, about all things great and small, and especially about himself, factchecking sites can provide an invaluable—if increasingly overwhelmed—public service. Though the siloing off of this core function of...
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If the last month is any indication, establishment news organizations like the Post and the Times still haven’t learned the key lessons about their flawed 2016 election coverage. (Photo: Screenshot) Views
Friday, November 16, 2018
Who, Us? Corporate Media Ignore Their Role in Trump’s Refugee ‘Invasion’ Panic
If the establishment media’s coverage in the home stretch of the 2018 midterm elections is any kind of prologue to 2020, be prepared for an avalanche of right-wing xenophobic propaganda during our next presidential election. That’s because, once again, the political press dutifully chased Trump’s...
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The fact that the US has maintained a broad—and now growing—combat footprint in Syria continues to be so overlooked by the establishment press that even prominent New York Times columnists have forgotten it. (Photo: Screenshot) Views
Monday, September 17, 2018
As Trump Commits to Endless War, Corporate Media Obsess Over Anonymous Op-Ed
The anonymous New York Times op-ed ( 9/5/18 ), purportedly written by a senior Trump administration official, coupled with the release of Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear —itself full of White House back-stabbing and anonymous quotes—unleashed a veritable tsunami of breathless press speculation last...
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Saturday, March 24, 2018
Journalism of, by and for the Elite
American journalism has long maintained a sort of egalitarian myth about itself. While our country’s free press requires no formal training or licensing, an honest history of the profession shows very distinct hierarchies, from the vaunted Runyonesque blue-collar beat reporter to legendary insiders...
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Saturday, March 10, 2018
West Virginia Strike Highlights Corporate Media’s Atrophied Labor Coverage
On any given day, the American public can watch one of several Wall Street–focused cable news channels, read numerous high finance–oriented newspapers (as well as ubiquitous business sections in others), or click on a seemingly endless supply of online sites and news apps tracking the profits and...
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Trump Views
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Corporate Media Ignoring Puerto Rico's 'Shock Doctrine' Makeover
Nearly five months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, more than a hundred thousand U.S. citizens there still lack clean drinking water , and almost one-third of the island has no reliable electric power. As initial life-sustaining recovery efforts still grind toward completion, Puerto Rico’s...
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Friday, December 15, 2017
Net Neutrality Repeal Is Only Part of Trump’s Surrender to Corporate Media
The FCC is under attack—and so too is the First Amendment. As the primary regulator of how media and information gets to our nation’s citizens, the Federal Communications Commission has a critical role to play in protecting the open Internet, free speech, and free press in our democracy. Though the...
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